Frequently Asked Questions about the Brotherhood

What is the Brotherhood?
What is a Chapter?
What does a new Chapter do?
How did the Brotherhood begin?
Is the Brotherhood international?
Why is the Brotherhood needed?
Who may be a member of the Brotherhood?
Can an individual man become a member?
How old must a member be?

What about members among the clergy?
May women join the Brotherhood?
What does it cost to be a member?
What has the Brotherhood done over the years?
How is the Brotherhood governed?
What does the Central Office do?
What is the form of communication?
How can a person join or a Chapter be formed?

What is the Brotherhood?

The Brotherhood of St. Andrew is an international ministry of men within the Anglican Communion with corporate offices in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. The Brotherhood was incorporated by an Act of the U. S. Congress signed May 30, 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt. That Act states, "the sole object of said corporation shall be the spread of Christ's Kingdom among men."

What is a Chapter?

The primary method by which the Brotherhood implements its ministry to men and boys is through the establishing of a Chapter within individual Anglican and Episcopal churches. Upon application to the Central Office and with the approval of the parish Rector, Vicar, or in the case of a prison or Armed Forces installation, the Bishop of the diocese, a charter may be issued to the applicants. The Chapter needs to have at least six (6) men to begin an effective ministry, although in small parishes as few as three men can be granted a charter with the approval by the Brotherhood's President. Chapter members are called Brothers Andrew and are required to accept and observe the Brotherhood Disciplines of: PRAYER, STUDY AND SERVICE.

What does a new Chapter do?

Each new Chapter is assigned a Chapter Sponsor who is generally a long time member of the Brotherhood or a regional or national officer. The Chapter Sponsor helps in the preparation and installation of the new members, the officers, and the chapter. He attends the first few meetings of the chapter training, participates in discussions and answers questions, some of which may arise from what is heard from training tapes being played. His purpose is to make certain that members of the new chapter become familiar with the Brotherhood's ministry and mandate and are able to develop ministries to meet the needs of their parish.

How did the Brotherhood begin?

A group of twelve young men met regularly for prayer and Bible study under the direction of Mr. James L. Houghteling at St. James Church, Chicago, Illinois. Recognizing a need in their parish and the community, they asked permission of their rector, the Rev. W. H. Vibbert, to form a Brotherhood of St. Andrew to reach out and minister to men following the example of Andrew in bringing his brother Peter to meet Jesus when he learned He was the Christ. The first meeting of this first Brotherhood of St. Andrew was held on St. Andrew's Day, 1883 They initially adopted just two rules: Prayer and Service. They came together to pray, study Scripture, and plan how to reach out to other men with the Good New. They soon became such a spiritual force in the parish, news of what they were doing spread very quickly so that by 1886 there were over 100 Brotherhoods of St Andrew across the U.S. and Canada. There was also interest throughout the Anglican Communion. The first meeting of chapter representatives was coincidental with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Chicago and it was decided that a Central Office was needed to coordinate what was becoming an international ministry to men. Each Brotherhood of St. Andrew then accepted the authority of the Central Office and became known as a Chapter of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew.

Is the Brotherhood international?

By the year 1900, The Brotherhood of St. Andrew had granted charters to Chapters in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Philippines, China, South Africa, Panama, Scotland, Brazil and Alaska. Due to the inconvenience of travel and communication, the Brotherhood encouraged the formation of separate National Councils in foreign countries to oversee the work being done there by the Brotherhood Chapters. Some Chapters in Philippines, Canada, and Africa still are associated with the Brotherhood in the United States. Japan, Philippines, Jamaica, and the West Indies are among those who maintain separate National Councils.

Why is the Brotherhood needed?

It is a continuing phenomenon in the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church in particular, that the vast majority of men on parish rolls do not attend worship services or participate in the life of the parish in any way whatsoever. Generally, those attending services are 60% to 70% women, 10% to 20% children and youth with the men comprising about 15% to 25% on the average. Sometimes the men are seen dropping off the children for Church School on their way to play golf or to pick up the Sunday paper. Occasionally you will see several strange men at Christmas or Easter services, or at a baptism, only to find out late they are members of the parish. In most communities where there is an Anglican or Episcopal presence, as many as 50% of the men do not attend any Christian church at all. Why? We do not know all the answers to this phenomenon, but one thing we do know is that where men are able to come together with other men to share in discussions of their Christian Faith and study the Holy Bible, they become more active in and supportive of the parish ministry in that community. As they begin to accept the Disciplines of PRAYER and STUDY, they grow to accept the Discipline of SERVICE. No parish needs another men's organization, but every parish needs a ministry to its men. And the Brotherhood of St Andrew is ministry to men!

Who may be a member of the Brotherhood?

Any baptized Christian man may be a member of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Inc. However, only men who are confirmed in an Anglican or Episcopal Church or a church in communion with the Anglican or Episcopal Church may become a Chapter, regional or national officer in the Brotherhood.

Can an individual man become a member?

While the basic Brotherhood ministry to men is centered in the parish Chapter, it is recognized that a man may move from his parish which has a Chapter to a parish which does not. Also, there may be individual men led by the Holy Spirit to become a member of the Brotherhood while attending a parish without a Chapter. In either case the man may continue as or become a member of the Brotherhood. It is the desire of the Brotherhood that each individual member tries to establish a Chapter in his parish.

How old must a member be?

While there is no absolute limit, a member of a Senior chapter should be at least 18 years old with no upper age limit. A group of young men of 16 years and younger, may, under the sponsorship of a Senior Chapter in a parish, apply for a charter to form a Youth chapter of the Brotherhood. The Youth Chapter members abide by the same Disciplines of Prayer, Study and Service as a Senior Chapter member. And advisor from the senior Chapter must be present at all meetings of the Youth Chapter. At one period, most college preparatory schools associated with the Episcopal Church had a Youth Chapter of the Brotherhood, and many church associated colleges had a Senior brotherhood Chapter. In addition, a many colleges served by an Anglican or Episcopal chaplain had a Chapter of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew. Harvard, M.I.T. and Yale in the U.S. and in England, Oxford and Cambridge all had Brotherhood Chapters.

What about members among the clergy?

While The Brotherhood of St. Andrew is a lay ministry of men to men, it is hoped that the rector of a parish will honor this ministry by attending Chapter meetings on occasion or, if so led, become a regular member of the Brotherhood. Because The Brotherhood of St. Andrew is a ministry of men to men and boys, it is necessary that its members be men only.

May women join the Brotherhood?

A very fine sister organization exists that limits membership to women. The organization is the Daughters of the King. The Daughters of the King is a ministry to women that was formed shortly after the brotherhood began. Both ministries are similar and focus on the disciplines of Prayer, Study and Service. Their ministry to women and disciplines parallel those of the Brotherhood. The current address of the Daughters of the King can be found in your parish copy of the Episcopal Church Annual. The Brotherhood has found from over 100 years of experience that men are generally not able to express themselves about matters of their Christian Faith, or lack thereof, in front of women, especially those who have close ties to them. It is most important, therefore, that the Brotherhood's priority be "the spread of Christ's Kingdom among men" in a manner and format that has been successful through many years of service in the Episcopal Church. Many wives, daughters and widows of Brothers Andrew do support the Brotherhood's ministry to men by becoming Associate Members which entitles them to receive the St. Andrew's Cross magazine.

What does it cost to be a member?

Each Brother Andrew is asked to pay an annual due at the rate set by the National Council at its last meeting. However, no man is refused membership in the Brotherhood because he is not able to pay all or any part of the annual dues. The annual dues are not a tax to become or remain a member of the Brotherhood, but a contribution to continue and extend the Brotherhood's ministry to men. Generally, dues account for only about 61percent of the income of the Brotherhood and the balance through appeals.

What has the Brotherhood done throughout the years?

Ministry to men: The Brotherhood's ministry to men is established around the world. The sole object of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew's ministry is "the spread of Christ's Kingdom among men and boys."

Lay Reader Program: In 1886 The Brotherhood of St. Andrew introduced the Lay Reader Program to the Episcopal Church. Lay Readers at that time reached out to establish new Missions in communities nearby a parish with a Brotherhood Chapter. They went door to door to generate interest in having an Episcopal Mission and then met with the people to read Morning and Evening Prayer on Sundays. They then made arrangements for a priest to celebrate the Eucharist and perform Holy baptism at the Mission. Hundreds of parishes now exist as a result of that Brotherhood ministry. Eight parishes in the Bronx of the Diocese of New York, were begun as Missions by The Brotherhood of St. Andrew and its Lay reader Program.

Washington's Birthday Corporate Communion: The Brotherhood of St. Andrew, in its effort to bring men and boys back into the church to share in the hearing of the gospel and the Holy Eucharist, organized the national Washington's Birthday Corporate Communion for Men and boys. This was a highly successful program for many years.

Missionaries sent out: The Brotherhood sent both lay and clerical missionaries out to help establish our ministry to men in other countries. Two lay and two clerical missionaries were sent to the Philippines to work with the U.S. Armed forces in Manila. At the conclusion of their assignments in 1900, one of the clergy was asked to remain in Manila as the first Episcopal missionary to the Philippines. As a result of that action the Episcopal Church was established in the Philippines. Other lay missionaries also served in china, Japan and Africa.

Youth Camps: Several Youth Camps were established by The Brotherhood of St. Andrew in various parts of the country. These were operated by a Brotherhood Diocesan Assembly and provided the opportunity for young men form choirs, servers guilds and inner city parishes to enjoy good exercise, good food and good Christian fellowship.

Forward Day by Day: In about 1898 The Brotherhood of St. Andrew implemented a program of daily devotions and Bible study for Brotherhood Chapters. This program became so successful it was adopted by many parishes and people outside the Brotherhood. Today this program is carries on by an independent corporation known as the Forward Movement Publications in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Army and Navy Department: During World War I, the Brotherhood established an Army and Navy Department sending Field Secretaries to organize prayer and Bible study groups among service men in the army and navy installations throughout the U.S. These Field Secretaries served without pay for a period of six months and were responsible for establishing a new awareness of the church in the lives of many of the men they worked with. Following the end of the war, the Army and Navy Department sent letters to nearby parishes to contact men the Brotherhood had worked with as they were mustered out of the service. Booklets and tracts on how to welcome servicemen home after their experiences with death and killing, were prepared by the Army and Navy Department and sent to parishes and families of these servicemen. During the war, over 100,000 copies of the ST. ANDREW'S CROSS Magazine were sent to servicemen. Distribution of thousands of letters to servicemen was better organized by the armed forces. Consequently, the sending of Field Secretaries by the Brotherhood to do the work became unnecessary. However, it was the responsibility of each chapter in close proximity to an Army or Marine base, to reach out to the Episcopal servicemen by offering to bring them to their parish for worship services and an occasional home cooked meal. Also, the Brotherhood central Office organized a program of writing letters to lonely servicemen, and those with problems, all over the world.

Home Study Course: For many years the Brotherhood of St Andrew offered a basic home study course on the Christian Faith from an Anglican or Episcopal perspective. Due to changes to the Prayer Book this program has been abandoned for now. However, another home study course designed for the training of Associate Field secretaries has been revised for use by all National Officers along with Diocesan Coordinators, Associate Field secretaries, Assembly Presidents, chapter Directors and of course by any member. The title of this study is "an All Purpose Training Guide." A copy may be obtained from the Central Office.

KEEP (Kiyosato Educational Experiment Project): One of the outstanding success stories of the Brotherhood was its work with Dr. Paul Rusch to establish Keep in Japan. The program was designed to help the Japanese to become more productive in farming methods due to the limited land available for farming compared to the population. With the cooperation of the Japanese government, and experimental farm was established in Kiyosato, Japan which attracted many farmers to learn the new techniques being taught. The true ministry of Bro. Paul Rusch was centered in the St. Andrew Chapel where he helped reestablish the Brotherhood's ministry to men which had initially been established in 1902. Like the Brotherhood of St Andrew that he loved so much, the sole object of Bro. Paul Rusch was "the spread of Christ's Kingdom among men."

Baale Farm Project: The Baale Farm Project was begun in 1983 as an outreach program to the people in Baale, Uganda, a farm village in the newly formed Mukono Diocese of the church of Uganda (Anglican). Initially the program involved support of a teaching farm for local people to become self-reliant as much of their leadership had been lost under Idi Amin's rule. Funds were given for a chicken farm, building a home for and support of the layreader/teacher, rebuilding of St. Andrew's Church and help for the parish school program. Two container shipments of building materials, bicycles, a tractor, farm implements, seeds and clothing were sent. Later, as a result of some visits by Brotherhood men, it was decided there was a great need for a water tanker for which the Brotherhood raised the funds and then purchased from a firm in India.

This all resulted in establishing the Brotherhood in Uganda under the local leadership and sponsorship of Bishop Livingstone M. Nkoyoyo. A local Brotherhood evangelism program has reached out to most of Uganda as well as the remote islands located in Lake Victoria. Under Bishop Nkoyoyo's direction, the tanker truck was used to bring fresh water to the refugees from the Rwandan war, resulting in the saving of thousands of lives.

Faith Alive: The outstanding program for parish renewal, FAITH ALIVE, was begun by The Brotherhood of St. Andrew as a result of a recognized need for an Episcopal and Anglican style program to help awaken parishes to what we sensed as the Lord's call to Christian ministry in the world. FAITH ALIVE is now a separate corporation with its own management, distinct from the Brotherhood. To date, over one thousand parishes have had FAITH ALIVE WEEKENDS.

Pewsaction: Pewsaction, an umbrella organization covering most of the fellowships in the Episcopal church committed to Prayer, Evangelism, Worship and Study, has its roots in the Brotherhood of St Andrew. Brotherhood men conceived the concept and need for this type of organization and set about the promotion and organizing of it. The conferences sponsored by Pewsaction on renewal and evangelism have been of tremendous importance in promoting renewal and evangelism among Episcopal churches in the United States.

How is the Brotherhood governed?

The governing body of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Inc. is the Triennial Convention to which every chartered Chapter may send an elected representative to vote on all issues which may come before the Convention. The Triennial Convention elects the members of the National Council and it alone may vote changes to the corporate Constitution. Triennial means the Convention meets only every three years. The National Council meets annually except in the year of a Triennial Convention. The National Council elects all National Officers, passes a yearly operation budget, sets the dues rate, makes changes to the Bylaws, sets operating policy and elects members of the Executive Board. The Executive Board meets as needed between meetings of the Council and has authority to act in behalf of the Council when called into session. On years of the Triennial Convention, the Executive board meets to approve a Budget for that year. The Executive Board also reviews and makes recommendations on all changes to either the Constitution or Bylaws. The President of the Brotherhood, or in his absence, or incapacitation, the Senior Vice President, is responsible for the operation of The Brotherhood of St. Andrew, Inc. and the Central Office.

What does the Central Office do?

The Central Office of the Brotherhood is the international headquarters of the corporation. The Office handles between 8,000 and 10,000 pieces of mail each year and about 3,500 telephone calls annually. It receives and disburses all funds under the direction of the President, Treasurer, and Finance Committee. It keeps all corporate and Chapter records, issues new Chapter charters and responds to inquiries. All mailings are handled by the Central Office and it maintains all mailing lists on its in-house computer. The Central Office consists of the President, Senior Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, all volunteers, and employees consisting of the Office Manager, Editor of the ST. ANDREW'S CROSS magazine and other clerical and operating personnel.

What is the form of communication?

The form of communication within the Brotherhood is the ST. ANDREW'S CROSS magazine which is issued quarterly. Each issue of the CROSS contains articles designed to be inspirational to the Brothers Andrew, Associate member or outside subscriber on the disciplines of Prayer, Study and Service, Additional articles appear on the Brotherhood's ministry, the church, and reports from The Chapters and individual Brothers. The CROSS is one of the outstanding magazines in content and appearance in the church. Every Brother Andrew and Associate member gets a copy of the CROSS.

How can a person join or a Chapter be formed?

You can call or write to the Central Office for details on joining the Brotherhood or on how to form a parish Chapter. Write: The Brotherhood of St Andrew, Inc., P.O. Box 632, Ambridge, PA 15003-0632. Or call (724) 266-5810, Fax 724-266-9577. A membership application is available HERE.

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We invite you to join us in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ and making your ministry an effective manifestation of His grace and salvation. You may join a chapter at an existing church, establish a new chapter or join as an at-large member. One of the best ways to join is to talk to a Brotherhood member who can guide you through the process. Feel assured that joining The Brotherhood of St. Andrew will have a positive impact on you and your community.

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